Remembering Jerome Martin Clubb


Jerome Martin Clubb (1928-2021)

Jerome Martin Clubb (1928-2021)


The ISR community mourns the passing of former ICPSR Director Jerome Martin Clubb, who died on Dec. 15, 2021, in Vancouver, Washington, at the age of 93. 

Known as the director who put the “S” in ICPSR, Clubb first directed ICPR's Historical Data Archive from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. He became the third (and longest-serving) Executive Director of ICPR in 1975, continuing in that post until 1991. During his tenure as Director, he aggressively pursued the disciplinary diversification of ICPSR (the “S” for Social being added to the organization's name in his first year as Director). Clubb not only sought to bring his home discipline of History under the Consortium umbrella, but he was also instrumental in welcoming and designing ICPSR programs for Sociology and two of its more specialized subfields, aging, and crime and criminal justice. He helped establish the Consortium's two oldest topical archives — the National Archive of Data on Aging and the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data.

Below are some remembrances of friends and colleagues throughout the community. 


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"ICPSR offers its sincere condolences on the passing of longtime Director Jerome Clubb. His memory and work live on here at ICPSR and ISR, and in the ICPSR Summer Program scholarship that is named for him." -Maggie Levenstein, ICPSR Director

"I was saddened and surprised to hear that Jerry Clubb had died. He was a wonderful colleague and a leader in social science history. I will share my early experiences with him when I came to the University of Michigan. I was very interested in social science history and my dissertation was on Demographic Change in America from the Revolution to the Civil War. As a recent Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin, the History Department at the University of Michigan wanted to hire a quantitative historian and approached me. I was tempted by their offer, but worried about being isolated in a department that was not very involved in social science history. Fortunately, Jerry, who was a member of the history department as well as in ISR, was very active in the social sciences, and helped secure an appointment for me as a Faculty Associate in ISR in the Center for Political Studies in 1974. As a senior colleague, he was always there to help me with my work and career. He not only played a key role in quantification and the social sciences at ISR, but he was the ICPSR Director from 1975-1991. In 1984 he asked me to join him in writing an article, "Training and Retraining in Quantitative Methods of Social Research," in the Historical Methods Journal. That analysis of the comparison of political science and history was not only candid and useful then, but still somewhat accurate today. “If the training of historians in quantitative methods has been inadequate in the past, is there any reason to suspect that it will improve dramatically in the next five to ten years? Unfortunately, we think it unlikely that there will be a significant improvement in the quantity and quality of social science training within history departments." -Maris Vinovskis, historian and former colleague

“Early in my graduate career, I was fortunate to have worked with two great institution builders – Warren Miller and Jerry Clubb. I worked for more than two decades with Jerry, helping to fulfill his vision of a multidisciplinary organization that was membership-based and organized around the principle that no investigator ever exhausts the analytical utility of their data. Other researchers could take advantage of a dataset at very low or no cost to test hypotheses that the original investigator had never thought of. And the accumulation of data over time and/or geography would extend that utility for others. Jerry often generously extended collaborative writing opportunities to members of the staff, especially the graduate students, in the form of articles and book chapters. I retain with fond memories my copy of the monograph Computer Applications in History and Political Science, co-authored with Erik Austin and Jerry (International Business Machines Corporation: White Plains, N.Y., 1972).” -Michael Traugott, Research Professor and former colleague

In 1968, I was assigned to the Historical Archive, under Jerry Clubb.  My project was to make “The Lord Collection” machine readable.  The collection consisted of several records for every roll call ever taken in the U.S. House and U.S. from the first Congress through, I think, the 1930’s.   The Lord Collection and I went to the City Center Building Basement.   There was a special room with metal shelving for all the roll call bundles.  I have a very clear memory of Jerry staring at me in horror (and perhaps somewhat accusingly) as the overloaded shelves collapsed around us, bundles tumbling to the floor.  I worked for Jerry from that point until 1984.   We had a good working relationship and enjoyed many conversations on a variety of topics.  He was a fierce advocate for ICPR, and for those who worked for him.   He was especially concerned for the professional development of his grad student employees.  He was tough-minded, realistic, brilliant and even charismatic. We didn’t part on the best of terms when I left ICPSR to work for the National Election Studies but I hope and believe that over time he forgave me.  I certainly remember him with great fondness, and have thought of him often over the years since he left Ann Arbor for Port Angeles. - Santa Traugott



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ICPSR Mourns the Passing of Former Director Jerome Clubb

Jan 14, 2022

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